Emotion is more persuasive than logic.
I recently bought a Jeep (and it was a real mid-life crisis emotional purchase). It was irrational. The Jeep is noisy, its gas mileage is awful, and it doesn’t handle well at high speeds. But I love driving this Jeep.
Emotion is why I purchased this Jeep. Emotion is why I selected a manual instead of an automatic (my Jeep in high school was a manual). Emotion is why I bought big tires (which only touch pavement). Emotion is why I wear my Abercrombie & Fitch visor backward, blaring Nirvana with the top down and doors off (just kidding about the visor).
The salesperson used emotion to sell the Jeep. He asked about my Jeep experience from high school. We reminisced about the good ol’ days. The strongest emotion he triggered was not nostalgia. He triggered a parental emotion.
Here’s how he did it…I shifted from neutral to first, and the salesperson said, “With a manual, you’ll have to hold your daughter’s hand to teach her how to shift the gears.”
I was sold! His statement transported me six years into the future, where I held my 16-year-old’s hand, teaching her to shift gears. His comments triggered a powerful emotion. Even though I consider myself a “cool” dad, there will come a day when my daughters will stop holding my hand. Unless, of course, I’m teaching them to shift gears.
Although my daughters are not old enough to drive, they will gladly hold my hand as I shift gears (as pictured below).
Emotion plays a significant role in all decision making—especially buying decisions. Humans are more emotional than logical. The sooner you grasp that concept, the quicker you understand the buyer’s definition of value. In Selling Through Tough Times, you learn to understand the buyer’s emotions through the power of empathy.
Consider Stephen Covey’s thoughts on empathy. “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” Tough times are an opportune time to get creative with our customers.
Empathy is taking the buyer’s perspective—imagining what it’s like to be them. Empathy is necessary for any sales success, but especially during tough times. Struggling buyers need you to see their perspective, not merely sell them your product. Empathy is ever evolving, like your buyer’s definition of value.
Sellers constantly face new situations requiring new perspective. You’ll notice a common emotion as you empathize with the buyer: fear. In tough times, buyers are filled with fear. Buyers are unsure when tough times will pass and what the world will look like after. Fear is an intense emotion and motivator in tough times. Fear drives our thoughts, which drive our actions.
As you navigate this tough environment, try to understand your buyer’s fears. Don’t take advantage of your buyer’s fear, mitigate it. Ask yourself, “What are my buyer’s greatest fears and concerns?” and “How can I help alleviate their fears and concerns?” These simple, yet powerful, questions enable you to explore your buyer’s mind and create value.